Spelling Strategy Matrix, Term Paper Example

Name/Description of spelling strategy

Purpose of the strategy

Example to show how the strategy works

(Sample Learning Activity)

How the strategy might be adapted for specific students

1.  Use of Constant time delay (CTD) procedure/ A strategy which divides word study into short, equal intervals (Cates et al., 2008).

To integrate spelling into student routines and to provide positive reinforcement

Five seconds are given to identify each word flash card. A correct response merits positive reinforcement and moving on; an incorrect response merits modeling, writing the word; no response merits no action from the teacher.

For students who prefer to work in the home environment, this strategy is extremely portable and convenient for exceptional students who need routine.

2.  Use of Cover-copy-compare (CCC) procedure/ A strategy which relies on visual memory and copying to develop spelling skills (Cates et al., 2008).

To develop visual memory and practice writing the words.

The student can independently (or in groups) look at the word, cover it, write it and uncover and compare it and then provide positive reinforcement if correct or practice copying the word if incorrect.

For students who are visual learners this exercise will be great. Students must have good handwriting. It can be adapted as a group exercise where the list of words is uncovered one at a time, like the paper version of the simple game “Gossip”.

3.  Spelling in Parts/ A strategy which separates words into smaller units, most commonly syllables (Powell & Aram, 2008).

To separate the word into smaller, more manageable pieces and to establish cadence

The teacher and student say October and clap three times- one clap per syllable. The student then looks at each syllable as though it were alone.

This strategy does not need to be limited to clapping syllables. This could also be used for identifying root words and the meaning-spelling correlation.

4.  Constructed-response Spelling/ A strategy in which a pool of cards, coins, or letters is systematically encouraged, according to a word or number displayed ( Lee-Vieira, Mayer, & Cameron, 2006).

To create a familiarization in students who have difficulties learning in the traditional approaches to spelling.

The student sees a card which says 45 cents and then proceeds to pick out a correct number combination from the pool of available coins.

Students with disorders which cause fixations may have difficulty with this exercise. Positive reinforcement and the absence of fixation objects will be crucial.

5.  Personal spelling dictionary/ The student keeps a record of their most-misspelled words

( Scheuermann & Jacobs, 1994).

To personalize and focus the scope of Spelling to specific words

A revolving file or organizer is developed and incorporates any unfamiliar words in their personal and school reading.

The approach is inherently adaptive. Each student must be able to assist or participate to make this strategy meaningful.




Subject(s): Reading

Topic or Unit of Study: Any

Grade/Level: 2nd

Instructional Setting: classroom, whole-class learning but individualized monitoring, review, and grading

(e.g., group size, learning context, location [classroom, field trip to zoo, etc.], seating arrangement, bulletin board displays)


Your State Core Curriculum/Student Achievement Standard(s):

To view standards: Go to TaskStream Standards Manager under Programs & Resources. Then go to Browse Standards (Standards Wizard). Select your state. Select standard(s). For Wisconsin

  • Use word recognition clues such as phonics and word structure to decode words. (A.4.1)
  • Spell frequently used words correctly. (B.4.3)
  • Communicate information in an organized manner. (C.4.2)
  • Demonstrate oral communications using eye contact, tone, volume, rate and articulation.  (C.4.3)

Lesson Objective(s):

(e.g., what students will accomplish by the end of a single lesson; needs to align with core

curriculum/student achievement standard)

    • to identify student interests
    • to identify unfamiliar vocabulary and prior knowledge
    • to spell frequently used words correctly
    • to help the student analyze, communicate, and  utilize/cope with personal strengths and weaknesses


Instructional Materials:

Materials needed for the lesson (e.g., textbook, construction paper, scissors, PowerPoint, guided note templates)

alphabetical sorting note cards (the ones used to organize addresses or phone numbers), note cards, note card case or note card ring, pen or pencil


Sequence of Instructional Procedures/Activities/Events (provide description and indicate approximate time for each):

    1. 1. Identification of Student Prerequisite Skills Needed for Lesson:

(e.g., anticipatory set, schema, purpose of lesson for students, connections to previous learning)

The student must have legible handwriting and basic organizational skills.

    1. 2. Presentation of New Information or Modeling:

(e.g., term definitions, concepts, processes and/or approaches)

This is an adaptive approach which assumes that constant updates will be necessary. Adding practical definitions to the spelling cards may increase retention, but these definitions should be no more than five words.

    1. 3. Guided Practice:

(e.g., teacher directed, scaffolding, check for student understanding)

All written coursework should have misspelled words circled in red with a note: Add to dictionary please. These should be added to a private folder or file in which the teacher notes such misspellings. This will allow for a better understanding of both the individual and class weaknesses in spelling and allow the students to remain on the honor system unless a student abuses that privilege.

    1. 4. Independent Student Practice:

(e.g., teacher monitored, check for student understanding)

The student should expand their dictionary with words from their personal interests or spelling and vocabulary from other classes.

    1. 5. Culminating or Closing Procedure/Activity/Event:

(e.g., review terms, concepts, and/or learning process; establish connections to the next lesson; check for student understanding)

Initiate a class review of commonly misspelled words. Some of these words should be selected for the weekly spelling list. Emphasize the students’ helpfulness. Also, pick a theme and see if the students can identify it after it is written on the board. For example, our and outside might be selected for the ‘ou’ sound, and the difference between ‘our’ and ‘hour’ might be briefly discussed. These discussions should begin in the abstract and then be brought to the concrete by connecting them to examples from class readings or previous work.

Pedagogical Strategy (or Strategies):

(e.g., direct instruction, cooperative learning groups, partner work)

This is an adaptive strategy which can be modified for individual, group, or class work and can be integrated into any unit. Nonetheless, the revolving nature of the cards makes this strategy more suited to short or medium lengths of usage—not long-term/ yearly.

Differentiated Instruction:

Describe accommodations for such groups as English Language Learners, hearing impaired, learning disabled, physically disabled, and/or gifted/accelerated learners.

Because this strategy focuses primarily on written components, ELLs and hearing impaired students should not need accommodations. However, the hearing impaired student may wish to include confusing differences between signs and the written words. This should be encouraged if the student so wishes and does not seemed overwhelmed. Learning and physically disabled students may require that a parent, peer, or teacher help identify or write the words as well as monitor organization and ease of access. 

Gifted/ accelerated learners may benefit from being offered a positive reward for finding more examples or background information on the spelling words which they encounter. This will save the teacher some time and make these learners more involved and challenged.

Student Assessment/Rubrics:

Describe how you will know if students have met the objective(s) for this lesson (include pre- and post-assessment plans—formal and/or informal, summative and/or formative, etc.).

The private folder of misspelled words on class work and homework will provide a general expectation of the bare minimum of words in the student’s Spelling Dictionary. The student is formally evaluated on the tracking of their progress and informally evaluated on effort, acquisition, and progress.


Cates, G., Dunne, M., Erkfritz, K., Kivisto, A., Lee, N., & Wierzbicki, J. (2007). Differential Effects of Two Spelling Procedures on Acquisition, Maintenance and Adaption to Reading. Journal Of Behavioral Education, 16(1), 70-81. doi:10.1007/s10864-006-9019-5.

Lee-Vieira, A., Mayer, M. D., & Cameron, M. J. (2006). Constructed-response spelling and literacy development: an application in an urban classroom. Behavioral Interventions, 21(2), 111-122. doi:10.1002/bin.209.

Powell, D. A., & Aram, R. (2008). Spelling in Parts: A Strategy for Spelling and Decoding Polysyllabic Words. Reading Teacher, 61(7), 567-570. doi:10.1598/RT.61.7.6.

Scheuermann, B., & Jacobs, W. R. (1994). The personal spelling dictionary: An adaptive approach to reducing the spelling hurdle in written.. Intervention In School & Clinic, 29(5), 292.